I wonder how many times it is just recently that I have gone on about the need to develop fresh new web content beyond almost any other SEO marketing you do? I haven’t added it up, but I do know that I have been banging on about it for several weeks now, and I don’t imagine I’m going to stop anytime soon.
Having highly optimised, high-quality and engaging web content is now essential, with the Penguin web spam update making it even more so. But for many people the problem is not just in creating fresh content for their website, it is thinking of what to actually write in the first place.
There is of course a danger that if you create web content purely for the sake of it then the quality may well be mediocre at best. There is a real danger too that your web content will miss the target. If you start approaching the challenge of creating search engine optimised content for your site without really considering its potential value from the point of view of your customers and visitors then it is very probable that you will miss the target since you haven’t really considered what your target is in the first place.
So what sort of content should you be looking to develop, and how can you determine what is likely to be most useful from the point of view of your customers and visitors?
Here are four ideas on how to come up with fresh new web content.
1. In Response To The News
A lot of people seem to think that you can only write web content which won’t date. They feel that you must write web content that must be as relevant in a couple of years’ time as it is today. Frankly I just don’t understand this mentality. I know I’m in good company, because neither does Google.
Inevitably all web content will date. Products, services and reviews will all move on in time. Customers are generally looking for businesses which have up-to-date information and advice, and give the impression of having their finger on the pulse. Business websites which appear to be so self obsessed that they have no fresh content which addresses current or even recent issues tend to indicate a rather closed and perhaps outdated way of operating.
But it’s not just customers and visitors who appreciate seeing that a business knows what is currently going on, and has something to say about it. A website which includes fresh updated content is very likely to find itself being promoted higher up the search results by Google. An article, blog post, feature or web page which responds to and comments on a current issue in the news is inevitably going to include words, names, places and semantic language which Google will pick up on as being relevant to the current issue.
So it is important to spend a little time regularly checking the news for stories and reports which may have some bearing on your business’s subject.
2. In Response To People’s Observations
As well is you creating fresh web content in response to news stories it may well be that other people are publishing and blogging about related issues. By following people’s blogs, and by checking out the websites of people who are in your field of business you can often find ideas for your own content.
Now let me be clear here, I am not advocating plagiarism. I am not suggesting that you take the ideas and content written by others and make them your own, even if you completely rewrite them. What I am suggesting is that you can create content which responds to ideas published elsewhere. Perhaps you agree with them, or perhaps you disagree in some way and can express your own views or interpretations in order to provide your customers and visitors with what you feel is a more balanced take on current news or events.
You can quickly and easily search for blogs on Google relating to your chosen field. For example, if your business relates in any way to digital cameras you could carry out a search like this: digital camera inurl:blog or for a slightly broader mix of subjects you could do this search: ~digital ~camera inurl:blog
3. In Response To Customer Feedback And Communications
It is highly probable that your business receives enquiries from customers or potential customers every day. Some of those queries will be very individual, but more often than not you will find general concerns, questions or queries are raised fairly regularly. It may be helpful to you and to your customers to write an article or blog post which addresses these concerns or answers common questions. You may well find that you end up having to spend less time answering these common questions each day as customers are able to find the information on your site.
Of course, if you already have this information on your website and you find that you are regularly having to provide people with the same information that is already online this may indicate that people are unable to find this information very easily. It may be worth considering making changes so that this information already on your site is more prominent. If it is relevant, informative and offers value to customers, yet customers are unable to find this as easily as they should, then it may also be the case that Google is not viewing it as prominently as would be recommended.
4. In Response To Questions Asked Online
One of the things your customers and visitors are most likely to do when searching online is to ask a question. If people are actively asking questions in response to issues of subjects related to your business then doesn’t it make sense to provide the answers to these questions through your website?
Creating content simply for the sake of it is unwise and usually unprofitable. Creating content to address an actual need which your customers have, providing the information they are looking for and the answers to the questions they are asking, your website is far more likely to receive more traffic, to be considered more authoritative, to be more visible, and ultimately, more successful and effective.
But how do you find the questions people are asking? Forums are a good place to start, with a great many people asking questions and debating subjects and issues. A quick and easy way to find out what questions people are asking which have some relevance to your line of business is to carry out a search a little like this: iphone +”how do you” inurl:forum or iphone +”how do” inurl:forum
You’ll notice that the keyword in this case is iPhone, the type of question is in a format of ‘how do I/you’, and we have specified that the website must be a forum of some kind. This search generates millions of results, with many being dated so that you can see the questions people are asking right now. You can of course also search for questions people are asking on other social media platforms such as Twitter :
These four methods should help to provide you with at least some indication of how it is possible to come up with ideas not just for fresh new web content, but for content which serves a definite purpose and meets specific needs, thereby adding greatly to its value and ultimately to its effectiveness.
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